Kesha, producer trade lawsuits over abuse claims
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kesha and her mentor and producer filed dueling lawsuits Tuesday over the pop singer’s claims she was subjected to nearly a decade of sexual and emotional abuse.
Kesha’s lawsuit filed in Los Angeles accuses hit-making producer Dr. Luke of raping her and subjecting her to other sexual and emotional abuse for nearly a decade. The abuse led the “Tik Tok” singer to develop a severe eating disorder that required her to enter rehab earlier this year, according to the lawsuit.
Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, filed a lawsuit against Kesha in New York calling the claims defamatory and saying his protégé is making them in an attempt to extort him into giving her a better recording deal.
Kesha’s suit does not specify when the alleged rape occurred, but her attorney wrote that the singer didn’t report the abuse to anyone out of fear of retaliation by Dr. Luke.
“She lived in a prison of his abuse and was terrified of speaking, messaging, tweeting or doing anything at all that he might disapprove of in the event that he would later use it to torture her and her family, as he had done so many times before,” the lawsuit states.
Her lawsuit seeks to invalidate recording agreements she signed with Dr. Luke and his recording company when she turned 18. Kesha, whose real name is Kesha Rose Sebert, is a Nashville native who was lured to Los Angeles by Dr. Luke with promises of a music career, her suit states.
“As set forth in the complaint that we have filed on behalf of Dr. Luke, Kesha and her mother are engaged in a campaign of publishing outrageous and untrue statements about Dr. Luke to third parties, including scurrilous and false statements of purported physical and mental abuse of Kesha,” Dr. Luke’s attorney Christine Lepera wrote in a statement.
Kesha’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said Tuesday that the producer’s lawsuit was legal gamesmanship and not unexpected.
“This is exactly the way he plays,” Geragos said. “He abuses people.”
Geragos said Kesha is finally healthy enough to confront her mentor.
“She’s finally at a point where she can deal with it and wants to deal with it, wants him out of her life and wants him held accountable,” Geragos said.
Dr. Luke has been one of the music industry’s most consistent pop hit-makers in the past decade. He’s produced or co-produced several hits for Katy Perry, including “Roar” and “Teenage Dream” and worked with Rihanna, Britney Spears, Pitbull, Flo Rida and Miley Cyrus on her hit, “Wrecking Ball.”
Kesha’s suit accuses him of lobbing insults at her about her appearance, her vocals, and repeatedly threatened her and her family. Kesha’s mother is her songwriting partner, according to the lawsuit.
Her lawsuit states that doctors who treated Kesha earlier this year have warned her that continued contact with Dr. Luke would be life-threatening, the lawsuit states.
Lepera wrote that she had not yet seen Kesha’s lawsuit, but was “confident that Dr. Luke will prevail in all matters, and that our client will be awarded substantial damages for this malicious conduct.”
Associated Press Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu in New York contributed to this report.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP.